UMCOR / News Room / News & Features / Archives 2007 / 1128 - Clean Water Saves Lives

Clean Water Saves Lives

Over half of the people who live in Nicaragua’s rural communities do not have access to clean drinking water or sanitary facilities. Most people obtain their water from uncovered wells, open water holes, or streams that are not protected from animal or human contamination. Water and hygiene-related illnesses, especially diarrhea, are largely responsible for the high death rates among children in Nicaragua. A United Nations study identified diarrhea as the cause of death of 31.4 percent of children under one year of age, and 49.5 percent of children under five years old.

El Porvenir, supported by United Methodist Committee on Relief, is an organization that is working to combat this problem. El Porvenir, which means “the future”, is ensuring that many more Nicaraguan children have a healthy future ahead of them. The project helps communities obtain clean drinking water and basic sanitation. Through these self-help projects, El Porvenir is saving lives by reducing the risk of diseases that often come from drinking contaminated water.

El Porvenir uses simple technology and basic materials for community construction of hand-dug wells, spring enclosures, latrines, washing facilities with bathing stalls, and fuel-saving smoke-free cooking stoves for women. This methodology helps keep future repair and maintenance easy and affordable for the villagers. The program also guarantees community ownership—requiring 100% of the labor to be provided by community members.

Education and Training

Education is also a key component to El Porvenir’s work. Comprehensive health and hygiene workshops accompany every water and sanitation project—securing everyone’s well being and safety concerns. Health educators conduct regular follow-up visits to check in on past projects. They also offer continuing education and training in personal and environmental hygiene.

Since 1990, El Porvenir has been transforming communities one-by-one—partnering with over 300 rural communities in Nicaragua to build over 600 water and sanitation projects. There is more ground to gain as clean drinking water and sanitation is a must-have for health and life.

How You Can Help

You can help this organization through advance giving and help El Porvenir provide a healthier living environment for children and families in more areas of Nicaragua. Please give to UMCOR Advance #525000, Clean Water and Sanitation, Nicaragua. Online Giving